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Unfortunately, manufacturers know all too well that managers can make a host of mistakes in specifying roof coatings. One early hurdle in the specification process involves determining whether the roof is even worth addressing with a coating.
Managers "need to conduct a roof assessment to make sure the roof is a good candidate," Martucci says. "A coating is not a cure for a problem roof. You often hear that if you have problems with 25 percent or more of your roof, it’s probably a good candidate for a reroof, not just a coating. Asking a coating to do too much is a common mistake."
Mike Guibault with National Coatings points out the mistake managers often make of waiting too long to use a coating to address roof issues.
"They tend to look at acrylics and other fluid-applied roof as the last thing to do to save their roof," he says. "In reality, it should be the first choice with regards to durability, sustainability, cost, life cycle costs, and energy efficiency. The superior adhesion and the elongation and low-temperature flexibility provided by fluid-applied roof coatings are exactly what a roof membrane needs as it expands and shrinks throughout the year."
Finally, even in cases where a manager properly specifies a roof coating, failing to address surface preparation in preparation for application can quickly doom the project to failure.
"The coating adheres to the surface in direct relation to the preparation of the surface," Smith says. "If the surface preparation is substandard, the coating is going to adhere poorly.
"When in doubt, try an adhesion test patch on an inconspicuous portion of the roof or in an area you suspect might be causing future issues, such as around an exhaust vent. The coating manufacturer should be able to assist in running the test. They’ll be able to go through the list of coatings that are available and weed them out even before the test patch goes on."
Common Roof Coating Mistakes and How to Avoid Them